September 7, 2007

The Golden Bomb, Phantastic German Expressionist Stories

[Cover: untitled woodcut by Heinrich Stegemann (1921)]

The Golden Bomb, like Black Letters Unleashed, was edited and translated by Atlas Press editor Malcolm Green. Published in 1993 by Polygon, copies are still available! Find them at the Atlas site.

Press blurb:

The German and Austrian Expressionists of the first two decades of the twentieth century constituted one of the truest and most energetic avant-garde movements of the last hundred years. In little more than fifteen years they brought about lasting and fundamental changes in the fields of dance, drama, painting, film, typography and, all too often overlooked, in writing. Concentrated in the years preceding the First World War, the movement burned like a magnesium flare, short-lived but intense, and very much in keeping with the tempo of modern city life which was its chosen backdrop. Much of the writing, as assembled here for the first time in this anthology, belies the gaunt, grainy, slice-of-life demeanour that is the movement’s traditional image. Instead we find dandyish despair, slapstick horror, and black humour, visionary speculation, linguistic experimentation, the arcane and the capriciously grotesque - in other words, the dreams and dementia that fed into Dada, that served as the true precursor of Surrealism, and inspired the “Vienna Group” in the 1950s.

This anthology, originally put together for Polygon of Edinburgh (then sold at £9.95) and now available exclusively from Atlas Press, incorporates several of the movement’s illustrious forerunners, such as Franz Held, Oskar Panizza, and Paul Scheerbart; a large number of the early Expressionists, whose writings are especially astonishing for their absurdism and archness of tone, such as Albert Ehrenstein, Hans Arp, and Gottfried Benn; and concludes with the early Dada and Surrealistic speculations of Hugo Ball, Wieland Herzfelde, and Kurt Schwitters.

Writers included: Franz Held, Oskar Panizza, Albert Mombert, Paul Scheerbart, Alfred Döblin, Albert Ehrenstein, Carl Einstein, Gustav Meyrink, Georg Heym, Ferdinand Hardekopf, Wassily Kandinsky, Mynona, Hans Arp, Alfred Wolfenstein, Paul Zech, Else Lasker-Schüler, Georg Trakl, Alfred Lichtenstein, Theodor Däubler, Heinrich Nowak, Gottfried Benn, Hans Flesch-Brunningen, Hugo Ball, Conrad Felixmüller, Heinrich Schaefer, Wieland Herzfelde, Kurt Schwitters, Franz Kafka, Iwan Goll, Robert Musil, Hermann Ungar. Plus short biographies of all the writers, and an introductory essay by Malcolm Green.

Black Letters Unleashed, 300 Years of 'Enthused' Writing in German


The 1989 Atlas Press book Black Letters Unleashed: 300 Years of 'Enthused' Writing in German (Atlas Anthology No. 6; Amaz link) has become way too scarce. I used to give away copies of it to friends (to paraphrase Gabriel Zaid "giving a book is like giving an obligation"). Full contents and an excerpt from the intro coming soon.

3/28/2014 update (only 7 years late), the Contents:

Malcolm Green - Foreword
Johannes Fischart - Introduction
Quirinus Kuhlmann - The Kiss of Love
Gottfried Burger - The Magnetic Mountain Range
G. C. Lichtenberg - Inventory of a Collection of Appliances
Jean Paul - The Dead Christ's Address from On High on the Non-existence of God
Novalis - The Apprentice
E. T. A. Hoffmann - Sister Monika
Franz Grillparzer - The Wild Hunter
Johann Nepomuk Nestroy - Tratschmiedl's Dream
Max Stirner -  I've Based My Affairs on Nothing
Arthur Schopenhauer - Conversation Anno 33
Friedrich Nietzsche - Letter to Jakob Burckhardt
Karl Marx - Digression on Productive Labour
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch  -  Drama-Dscheuti
Oskar Panizza - The Immaculate Conception of Popes
Stanislaw Przybyszewski - The Mass of the Dead
Franz Held - The Golden Bomb
Paul Scheerbart - The Stupid Ass
Gustav Meyrink - Just What Purpose Do White Dog Stools Actually Serve
Adolf Wolfli -  New York
Georg Heym - Sketches
Elsa Lasker-Schuler - Artists
Jakob von Hoddis - Doctor Hacker's End
Franz Jung - The Telepaths
Heinrich Schaefer - Creative Extension out of Darkness
Georg Trakl - Transmutation of the Evil One — Revelation and Decline
Erna Kroner - 2 Poems
Ferdinand Hardekopf - Winter Garden
Albert Ehrenstein - Kimargouel
Wieland Herzefelde - The Soviet Cloud
Kurt Schwitters - A Gulp for the Whole of Life — Horizontal  Story
Fritz von Herzmanovsky-Orlando - The Masked Ball of the Genii
Alfred Doblin - Incomprehensible  Stories
Hans Henny Jahnn - Kebad Kenya
Ilse Aichinger - Ajax
Gerhard Ruhm - The Grotto
Unica Zurn - In Ambush
Paul Celan - 6 Poems from The No-One's Rose
Wolfgang Bauer - 3 Microdramas
H. C. Artmann - Lord Lister's Afternoon Letters
Imtraud Morgner - The Hotel
Christoph Meckel - Instructions to the House Guests
Gunter Brus - Jack O'Lantern
Peter Pongratz - Sunset
Oskar Pastior - 12 Poempoems
Ror Wolf - The Danger of the Great Plains
Ingomar Kieseritsky - The Fermail Method, or the Abolition of Music
Monica Tornow - Body Demons
Jean Paul Jacobs - Miss Lazybones
Gerhard Roth - Between Heaven and Earth
Heiner Muller - Description of a Picture
Gunter Brus - The Crystal Cistern
Notes, Biographies, Sources

Translators: Malcolm Green, Derk Wynand, Shaun Whiteside, James Kirkup, Max Paddison, Rosemarie Waldrop, Carl Weber

September 4, 2007

Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Ian Nagoski, Black Mirror

A scan of Black Mirror by Daumal associate Roger Gilbert-Lecomte.

Adding this is really an excuse to plug an upcoming cd curated by Ian Nagoski. Here's the press blurb:

Black Mirror: Reflections in Global Musics 1918 - ca. 1955
On the Dust-to-Digital label. Contact Ian's Baltimore record store The True Vine.

24 recordings from the first half of the 20th century of music from Syria, Bali, Scotland, Thailand, Ukraine, China, Camaroon, India, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Japan, Poland, Greece, Java, Portugal, Laos, Sweden and Burma, all newly transfered and mastered from 78 rpm discs, at least 18 of which never issued before on CD.
Each performance is a gorgeous manifestation of outrageous virtuosity, religious devotion, heart-stopping ebullience and/or worshipful ache, just as they reflect a moment in the personal trajectories of the individual performers and their now generations-past historical contexts, elucidated to a great degree by record collector and compiler Ian Nagoski's notes.
Drawn from the best of Nagoski's vernacular 78 collecting, Black Mirror began two years ago as a high-falutin meditation on love, death, social class and divinity. In its finished form, it's one of far too few overviews of peak human music from the period when the performance was the record and that was that.

Track list:
1. Naim Karakand - Kamanagah Syrian
2. Thewaprasit Ensemble - Phleeng Khuk Phaat, pt. 2 Thai
3. Gong Belaloewana Bali - Kebyar Ding, I Balinese
4. Pipe Major Forsyth - Malorca Northumbrian
5. Thiruvazhimilalai Subramanian Bros. & Needamangalam Meenakshisundaram Pillai - Manasa Sri Ramachandra South Indian
6. Paul Pendja Ensemble - Ngo Mebou Melane Camerounian
7. Cyganska Orchestra Stefana - Cyganske Vesilia, pt. 4 Lemko-Hungarian
8. Zhehongyi with Nendi Zhaoguan - Mother's Uproar Fouzhou-Chinese
9. Patrick J. Touhey - Drowsy Maggie Irish
10. Hutzl Ukrainian Ensemble - Welsisni Melodyi Hutzl-Ukrainian
11. Neriman Altindag - Soyledi Yok Yok Turkish
12. Lata Mangeshkar - Aayega Aanewaala Indian
13. M. Nguyen van Minh-Con - Nam Nhi-tu Vietnamese
14. Edwin Fischer - Handel's Chaconne, Teil I. Swiss / German
15. Marika Papagika - Smyrneiko Minore Greek
16. Petar Perunovic-Perun - Narodne Saljive Pjesme Serbian
17. Nji R. Hadji Djoeaehn - Tjimploengan Sundanese
18. Niño de Priego - Envidia yo no Tengo Nadie Spanish
19. Prof. Lucas Junot - Fado de Passarinhos Portuguese
20. Sathoukhru Lukkhamkeow - Nakhone Prayer Laotian
21. Christer Falkenstrom - Baklandets Vackra Maja Swedish
22. Representatives of the Democratic Youth of Indonesia - Djanger Balinese
23. Sinkou Son & Kouran Kin - Songs in Grief Japanese
24. untraced Burmese muscians - Yein Pwe Burmese

Angela de Foligno, The Saint of the Double Abyss

This post now resides on my other site 50 Watts:

Jean Painleve, the surrealist Jacques Cousteau

Jean Painleve is the surrealist Jacques Cousteau. He was literally associated with the first wave of French surrealists before embarking on his career as a documentary filmmaker. In the age of dvd, youtube, and the Discovery Channel, I cannot figure out why he hasn't been properly introduced to America. He could even be marketed as the "Jacques Cousteau for Stoners"! Yo La Tengo did their part by playing music live behind his films.

Here's a scan of the book Science is Fiction: The Films of Jean Painleve, released by Brico / MIT Press a few years ago. I don't know why there's a book about him in English, but no DVD available for sale in America.

Here's a postcard for the book:

October 07 update: you can now purchase a DVD set of his movies in the UK. Here's a link. (The set is "region 2," so check that your dvd player can handle it.) A US version is hopefully in the works from Kino or a similar dvd company. The UK set seems to be a compilation of the two French dvds which were produced over the past few years.